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Cost of living

The cost of achieving a comfortable retirement is continuing to increase despite Australia's relatively low inflation data, according to the latest research release by the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA).

The research, for the December quarter 2015, showed that a couple looking to achieve a 'comfortable' retirement would need to spend $59,236 a year, while those seeking a 'modest' retirement lifestyle would need $34,226 a year.

Significant price rises for medical and hospital services have led to a modest increase in the cost of living for retirees according to the latest Australian Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) Retirement Standard figures.

The figured for the December quarter 2015 revealed that a couple looking to achieve a comfortable retirement would require an outlay of $59,236 a year, while those seeking a 'modest' retirement lifestyle needed $34,226 a year.

A modest retirement lifestyle is considered better than that affordable under the Age Pension, but you would still only able to afford fairly basic activities.

A comfortable retirement lifestyle enables a healthy retiree to be involved in a broad range of leisure and recreational activities. They enjoy a good standard of living and have the discretionary income needed to purchase new household goods, private health insurance, a reasonable car, good clothes, a range of electronic equipment as well as domestic and the international holidays.

Both budgets assume that the retirees own their own home outright and enjoy good health.

The difference between the two budgets is the cost of the extra items included in the comfortable budget. These also include the funds for home renovations, eating out from time to time, being able to entertain family or friends at home, top tier private health insurance, gifts etc.

What is the ASFA Retirement Standard?

The ASFA Retirement Standard benchmarks the annual budget needed by Australians to fund either a comfortable or modest standard of living in the post-work years. It is updated quarterly to reflect inflation, and provides detailed budgets of what singles and couples would need to spend to support their chosen lifestyle.

Few people know exactly how much money they will need to spend each year to fund a comfortable lifestyle in retirement. The ASFA Retirement Standard has been developed to help with this problem by objectively outlining the annual budget needed by Australians to fund a comfortable standard of living in the post-work years.